Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Digital TV change postponed

The Senate on Monday voted unanimously to postpone the upcoming transition from analog to digital television broadcasting by four months to June 12, 2009. Aparently a lot of people was not ready.

read more | digg story

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Energy Efficiency and the Internet

I am usually careful when quoting other blog posts, but I thought that this was well worth it. The popular treehugger.com blog posted an energy usage comparison for the Internet in general. Interestingly enough, it shows how even thought the Internet is using twice the amount of power in 2006 than in 2000, the traffic has increased by 3.2 million times. That is efficiency!

According to the post, Earth2Tech says:

newer networking technologies are generally more efficient. Older technologies like dialup and traditional wireline connections use 3.56 kWh per GB. Newer technologies including fiber and power lines use .77 kWh/GB, while cable uses .72 kWh/GB and DSL sips a low .17 kWh/GB. These figures don't include the power consumption of the end-device like a laptop or a cell phone. Also remember the measurement is energy per gigabyte of data, and newer networks also transmit significantly more data than older networks.

And, Treehugger.com concludes:

this isn't very surprising, really. With "Moore's Law" making CPUs exponentially faster and new tools like software virtualization allowing one server to replace many, it was expected that a doubling of energy consumption would result in many times more data being transferred. One interesting question would be: Does the value that you get from data scale with the amount of data? It's probably not linear, for sure, but there's still value to be had in going from mostly text and static pictures to more audio and video.

It is definitely a remarkable finding that must be broadcasted to the world. We should keep going in that direction.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Nationalization of Banks in the US

As I was listening to the news on NPR news radio on my way home from the office, I noticed that one of the main topics was the potential nationalization of banks in the US.

This comes as a natural question as a consequence of the nationalization of the Anglo Irish Bank by the government of Ireland earlier this month, and talks in the British parlaiment about it too. I have always thought of nationalization of banks as a dramatic and proven ineffective solution to a big problem. Specially when it is a sign of paternalism and goes against pure free markets theory.

Hence, I decided to get home and google about it to read more about it. Although, I found no links about nationalization of banks in the US, but a ton related to the forced nationalization of Banco de Venezuela in Venezuela last year. Precisely what I expected to find!; I have always associated nationalization with totalitarianism and immature governments. It makes me wonder if all this is really going to work out... this time.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The importance of cross-training: Kayak, perfect complement to MTB

It's been a while seen Outside Magazine comes up with an article that sparks my interest. This one does it by showing up the importance of cross-trainning, and how Kayaking is considered the perfect complement for Mountain Biking. Well written, and summarizing what they call "Total Fitness" and how it can be achieved in 7 steps:

  1. Relax
  2. Cross-Trainning
  3. Loosen up
  4. Excercise for winning
  5. Endorphine highs are a proven fact
  6. Clear your head
  7. Focus in Nutrition

For more info: read more | digg story